20 under 40: Sarah Coleman, The Foundry
July 28, 2017
Like many kids born and raised in a small town, as a teenager Sarah Coleman was obsessed with the thought of bigger and better things beyond Steamboat.
"When I was 15, I never thought in a million years I'd be back here … I was like, 'Get me the hell out of here,'" reminisces the now 38-year-old grown version of herself.
Fortunately for the community, she came back with a vengeance … a vengeance for joy, life and the well-being of others.
"Sarah is a ray of sunshine," says fellow CrossFit coach Marci Mattox.
"It doesn't matter what's going on in her life, she makes people feel better when they walk out," adds CrossFit Steamboat owner Rhonda Waneka.
After college and a stint in California, Coleman returned to Steamboat for her little sister's graduation. She fell in love with the Steamboat summer and moved back at age 25, working at restaurants until a random job ad caught her attention.
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"It was for a fitness studio called 'Will, Power and Grace,'" she says. "I answered the ad just for the name … no experience." Obviously, a fan of the TV show "Will and Grace," Coleman nevertheless embraced her new fitness career. "I found that passion for helping people change their lives with fitness and healthy habits," she says.
Coleman started acquiring training and nutrition certifications and put them to work on her clients. Her dedication and holistic approach caught the attention of local businessman Scott Borden, who needed a wellness director at The Foundry Treatment Center, his drug and alcohol treatment facility.
"Sarah brings an aspect to our company that you can’t just go find," Borden says. "It’s like the intangibles coaches talk about with star athletes, things you can’t coach. And she carries that passion and freakishly positive outlook wherever she goes."
Her friends don't call her "Sarah Sunshine" for nothing.
"I should be called the fun director because everything is so heavy and therapeutic there," says Coleman about her job at The Foundry. "I try to get them turned on to something new, or something they used to love but haven't experienced in a while … fitness, music, arts and crafts."
The new job also fit perfectly with Coleman's volunteer work in the community. Recovering addicts give their time to community organizations, something dear to Coleman's heart.
And her energy, adds Mattox, is infectious.
"She believes in everyone and has a way of making people believe in themselves, whether it be through personal training, helping those with addictions or speaking to eighth graders at the Girls to Women Conference," says Mattox.
So what would Coleman say to her 15-year-old self if given a chance?
"I own a house and have a career, a great boyfriend, a dog and a life I wouldn't trade for anything."